Real Estate

NYC’s Rent Guidelines Board Vote on Rent Increase

Photo: Bahadirkar/Getty Images

The bad news is your rent is high, and the other bad news is it’s about to get higher. The Rent Guidelines Board, which sets rent increases annually for rent-stabilized apartments, voted on the final number last night, raising rents by 2.75 percent for one-year leases and 5.25 percent for two-year leases, starting in October. (In April, the nine-person board already voted in favor of preliminary ranges between 2 and 4.5 percent for one-year leases and 4 and 6.5 percent for two-year leases.)

Under Bill de Blasio’s administration, the board froze rents for three different years — the first time in the board’s history — to help provide relief for tenants, including during the first year of the pandemic. But since Eric Adams took over, rent increases have been approved every year, with the board voting in 2023 for an increase of 3 percent for one-year leases and 2.75 percent for the first year and 3.2 percent for the second year of two-year leases. (The year before saw increases of 3.25 and 5 percent.) This spring, the two tenant members of the board walked out in protest of yet another round of proposed increases, casting a vote of no confidence. “I’ve been at this for three years now, and each year the board has made the decision to further hurt tenants by raising rents significantly,” tenant member Adán Soltren said at the time. “You wonder why some people call it the ‘Rent Increase Board.’” At last night’s vote, tenants protested outside the venue, and a number were arrested.

Meanwhile, rent-stabilized landlords, as usual, had called for increases on the higher end, claiming that they are necessary to avoid financial distress and to keep units online. (Still, only one owner applied for a city pilot that would give rent-stabilized landlords up to $25,000 per unit for repairs.)

For tenants, rents remain extremely high, and there are very few vacant apartments at the bottom of the market, meaning that units New Yorkers can actually afford are increasingly nonexistent. Raising rents on the city’s 1 million stabilized units will only make all of this worse. Maybe, instead, the board could have taken inspiration from up the river, where Kingston’s board actually voted to decrease rents by 15 percent. The Rent Decrease Board has a nicer ring to it, don’t you think?

This post has been updated.

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